May/June Empties, Part 2: Makeup, Hair Care & Body Care

In Part 2 of my May/June empties, we have makeup, hair care, and body care (and a couple of miscellaneous items). If you missed Part 1, you can find it here.

Let’s start with body care, hair care and the extra bits, then finish with makeup:

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Shower Items:

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L’Occitane almond shower oil – This won’t be empty for long; I have a refill bag 🙂 Needless to say, I love it. It smells delicious and feels so luxurious on. I usually use like a body wash, but I know people who shave with it. Value = $25

Tata Harper revitalizing body oil – This has a nice “green” Tata scent and it did feel moisturizing, but it wasn’t anything special to justify Tata prices. Value = $13.41

L’Occitane citrus verbena shower gel – Lovely smell and it got the job done. This is pretty affordable (by L’Occitane standards) so I would consider repurchasing. Value = $2.38

Hempz coconut and watermelon body scrub – LOVE the scent and texture of this. It smells like watermelon (I don’t really smell coconut) and has larger sugar granules that are scrubby but not abrasive. The packaging is kind of clunky and unnecessarily large. It also wasn’t nearly filled so when I first opened it, I was disappointed. I wouldn’t pay full price for it, but I just ordered a second jar on a good promo at Ulta. Value = $19.99

Pacifica coconut milk shave whip – This was second tube of Pacifica shave whip, but it’s apparently been discontinued so I won’t go on about it. I did like it, but I’ll have to find something to replace it with. Value = $8

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If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I always go through hand creams and body lotions. This month was no exception!

Good Things manuka honey body butter – I loved this. It was very much like The Body Shop body butters in the same type of packaging. It smells like the manuka honey cream cleanser from this brand, which I also love. If I ever see another one at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s, I will repurchase. Value = $5

L’Occitane hand cream in almond and lavender scents – It’s no secret I love L’Occitane hand creams. Almond is one of my favorite scents. I like the lavender, but it isn’t one of my favorites. I have loads more of these little guys. Total value = $16.15

Josie Maran whipped argan oil in vanilla pear – The texture of the Josie Maran whipped argan oils isn’t my favorite; I find it kind of greasy. But, this vanilla pear scent was delicious. It doesn’t appear to be regularly available, though. I got this little one in a duo set over Christmas that I don’t see on Sephora’s website anymore. Value = $8.75

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Just a couple of hair care things:

Pacifica coconut super power deep conditioning mask – This was really nice. My hair isn’t “damaged” but I found this really nourishing and not too heavy. Smells delicious. Value = $16

Bumble & Bumble don’t blow it styling creme – I think I only got one use out of this sample so it’s hard to give it a solid review, but I didn’t find it did much when I let my hair air dry. Value = $3.10

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Finished up a few sunscreens!

Beautycounter SPF 30 – I really enjoy this one. Our second tube will be in my July empties, in fact. It has a thicker texture, but spreads and absorbs pretty well. But it’s pretty pricey so I’m not sure if/when I would repurchase. They reformulated after I purchased, as well, so the current sunscreen may be a little different. Value = $26

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 melt in sunscreen milk – I reviewed and other La Roche-Posay sunscreens in this post so I won’t repeat myself. We liked it. I would repurchase. Value = $35.99

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 ultra light sunscreen – Interestingly, this had a different texture than the full sized bottle I have. This was a traditional-feeling sunscreen and was in a squeeze tube, whereas the full sized bottle I have you have to shake and it squirts out and it has a gritty texture. I’m starting to think the full sized one I have was just a bad batch. Value = $1.80

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Lastly, a few random things:

Schmidt’s geranium flower sensitive skin deodorant – I need the sensitive skin (baking soda free) formula in Schmidt’s deodorants. My first one was the Bergamot Lime from their regular line and it would give me a rash if I had recently shaved my underarms. I switched to the sensitive skin version and haven’t had any irritation issues. This smells nice, and the tube lasted a reasonably long time. I’ve subsequently repurchased in a different scent just to try something new. Value = $10.99

It Brushes for Ulta brush bath makeup brush cleaner – I hated this. It smells strongly of the lavender and citrus oils in it. It wasn’t the most effective at cleaning my brushes. I didn’t love that it’s in a spray, and it’s awfully expensive for the amount of product you get. It did dry quickly, but I must prefer the MAC brush cleaner. Value = $18

Huntington Homes soy candle in spring leaves – These were like $4 at Aldi earlier this year. They burn evenly (if you find one with 3 evenly-spaced wicks) and this smelled very fresh. I actually have a second in this scent. Aldi candles are a hidden gem! Value = $4

Now onto makeup! (Sorry, I know this post is getting long, but splitting into 3 posts seemed excessive!)

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Bobbi Brown bronzer in Golden Light – I think this was my first bronzer. It’s really nice, but it had gotten pretty old (3-4 years). I was going to hit pan any day, and actually it broke apart after I photographed when I swirled my finger in it to get the swatch photo below. So it was just time to let it go. I’m not sure if I would repurchase because I always like trying new things, but I’ve recommended it to others. Value = $44

Hourglass ambient lighting palette – As you can see, I didn’t finish the third shade in the palette but I think it’s just too dark for me, even using it where I would apply bronzer. I love dim light (left most shade) and I have it in my Hourglass ambient lighting edit volume 3. I liked the middle shade, but not enough to seek it out again. I like the larger pans in this one versus the edit (which has 6 smaller pans). Some day I think I would build my own 3-pan palette on Hourglass’ website with a bronzer, blush, and dim light. Value = $62

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Fiona Stiles peach corrector – This is another one that just got old. It didn’t smell weird, but it’s over 2 years old and in a cream product, that seemed kind of gross to put under my eyes. It worked pretty well but I don’t need it most days so it was just sitting around. I don’t think you can find Fiona Stiles’ line anymore anyway. Value = $24

Burberry eye colour contour smoke and sculpt pen in Rosewood – This is Burberry’s cream shadow stick, which has a long and strange name. Rosewood is a popular shade in their wet/dry shadow, but I never hear anyone talk about the cream shadows. This was great and I would repurchase it. It didn’t crease, and had a beautiful sheen that was interesting but daytime appropriate. My only complaint is that the product fell out of the packaging. My first one that happened immediately so I replaced it. It happened with the second one eventually too and I was stuck with it. There was about an inch of product left, actually, but it fell out onto the bathroom floor and I didn’t think I could adequately clean it (not to mention be able to use it) so, alas, it’s in the trash. Value = $29.50

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(L to R: Bite Beauty lush lip tint in Watermelon; Burberry shadow stick in Rosewood; Bobbi Brown bronzer in Golden Light)

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Bite Beauty lush lip tint in Watermelon – It kills me that this were discontinued. They’re so good! I have a backup of this that I found at Marshall’s. If you ever see these at TJ Maxx or Marhsall’s, snap them up! (Juice is my favorite shade.) Value = $24

Lush rose lollipop lip balm – I have hit major pan on this, but I don’t like it so I decided enough is enough. It has sort of a gritty texture. No matter what I do, I get too much and have to wipe some off of my lips and finger. It doesn’t smell bad, but it doesn’t really smell like rose, either. And I prefer lip balms that aren’t in pots (although the Fresh ones are an exception to this rule). Clearly, I wouldn’t repurchase. Value = $10.95

Julep strawberry mint lip balm – This smells delicious but it is SO old, like probably 6 or 7 years old. I just can’t. haha. Value = $3

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Three mascaras for you, then we’re done!

Maybelline total temptation – This was a totally fine mascara – decent volume and length, no smudging, etc. But my expectations were high because people were RAVING about it when it was released. It’s a drier formula but I still got 3 months use out of it, which is pretty typical for me with mascaras. If you like a more natural look, you would probably like this, but I prefer more volume. Value = $9.49

I had to say goodbye to two mascaras prematurely this month because my eyelid got infected and I think one of my mascaras somehow got bacteria in it 😦

YSL the shock mascara – This is one of my absolute favorites. I always snap up the sample sizes when I can. (I have at least 2 more.) I had only been using this a couple of weeks so it killed me to toss it, but my health is obviously more important. This gives me mega volume but it’s damn near bullet proof. My eyelids are oily so smudging is a real problem for me, and this doesn’t smudge at all. The flip side is that it can be difficult to remove. I don’t usually do a separate eye makeup remover, but sometimes I do when I’m wearing this just to avoid any tugging. Value = $7.07

Tarte tarteist lash paint mascara – I’ve heard good things about this but I was really underwhelmed. It gave good length but no volume. It did smudge a little. It has kind of a spiky plastic wand that wasn’t the most comfortable. A fail for me. Value = $6.48

Total value = $435.05

Total May/June empties value = $641.36

If you made to the end of this post, I’m seriously impressed. As always, thank you so much for reading! 🙂

Beauty Products I’ve Repurchased

This much-requested post is finally here! I apologize for the delay; I just couldn’t get it done before our trip to Italy last week. Since I try new things all the time, I wouldn’t have guessed that I repurchase that many products, but when I started making a list of repurchased beauty products I realized it was quite a lot! The first photo doesn’t even contain them all!

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Skincare

There are three cleansers I’ve repurchased: The Body Shop camomile cleansing butter, which is super affordable and destroys makeup and doesn’t contain microplastic; The Good Things manuka honey cream cleanser, which I’ve raved about before. It’s also super affordable but, sadly, hard to get in the US unless you run across it at TJ Maxx/Marshall’s; and the Tata Harper purifying cleanser. My second one is almost empty and there will certainly be a third. It’s my favorite morning cleanse 🙂

For hydration, I’ve played the field but have come back to Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate, now in mega size! It’s fantastic for dehydrated skin. I love mixing up my mists, but I’ve gone through multiple Caudalie beauty elixirs. I loved this limited edition packaging.

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Pixi Glow Tonic was the original #CarolineHironsMadeMeDoIt purchase. I’ve gone through several full sizes, although all I have right now is this wee baby one. I keep this, even though it’s empty, so I can refill it when I eventually repurchase glow tonic.

I seem to get a lot of samples of moisturizers, but I liked the Clinique overnight moisture surge mask so much I bought the full size. Although it claims to be a mask, I just apply like a moisturizer in the evening and find my skin is plump and happy in the mornings.

My second The Body Shop Himalayan purifying mask is waiting patiently to be opened. This is the only face mask I’ve ever repurchased – it’s that good.

Lastly, I’ve waxed lyrical about the Skincando Combat Ready Balm before. It’s a great multi-tasker that the whole family uses so we upgraded to the jumbo size!

Makeup

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There is only one eyeshadow primer for me: the NARS primer. I’ve tried several and the NARS one is the best. I will always repurchase even though it’s kind of expensive and I don’t love the packaging.

I don’t buy mascara very often because I seem to always get samples, but when I got a sample of the YSL The Shock mascara, I loved it so much I bought the full size (which I have yet to open because I’ve gotten a couple more minis since then). It volumizes and doesn’t smudge, which are my main requirements.

I’m super low maintenance with my eyebrows; they really need more attention than I care to give them. 😉  I’ve been happy with the Anastasia Beverly Hills brow wiz, so I’ve bought it many times. Ulta often has it half off one day of their 21 Days of Beauty event twice a year.

It takes a long time to use up an eyeshadow so the only one I’ve repurchased is the Maybelline color tattoo in Bad to the Bronze. I love a good cream shadow! This one has a stiffer texture that is similar to the MAC paint pots, but I was still able to use my last one for over two years before it dried up. I had hit major pan by that point. It layers well, goes with everything, and doesn’t crease. Two thumbs up!

I usually only have one concealer open at once and the Maybelline Fit Me concealer has been my one-and-only at least twice. The shade Light is better suited to me in the summer so I’m using it now.

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I own a LOT of lipstick, but there are a few that I’ve repurchased: Too Faced la creme lipstick in Spice Spice Baby and YSL rouge volupte shine in No. 9 – both pinky brown nudes. NARS Tolede falls into this category, too, and I’m sure I will repurchase it when mine is empty. I’ve also repurchased the Bite Beauty amuse bouche lipstick in Fig, a cool-toned pink. I’ve repurchased the shades Watermelon and Juice in the Bite Beauty lush lip tint but they’re sadly discontinued. Snap them up if you see them at TJ Maxx/Marshall’s.

Speaking of lip products, I’ve gone through a number of Burt’s Bees chapsticks. Loving this coconut and pear flavored one right now. The Fresh potted lip balms are excellent, too. I finished a Caramel one earlier this year and instead of repurchasing it, I got the newly released flavors of Coconut and Lemon. I’ve been disappointed in the Lemon, but I would repurchase the Coconut or Caramel again.

Makeup Brushes

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When I find a makeup brush I like, I buy multiples. Anyone else? Some favorites are the Real Techniques multi-tasker brush, which only comes in a set. PLEASE sell it individually RT! I have two but I’ve seriously thought about getting a third set even though I’m not interested in the two other brushes in the set. This brush is that good.

My favorite eye brushes are by It Cosmetics for Ulta, specifically the number 112 (precision shadow) and number 105 (blending). I have three MAC 217s – probably the most famous makeup brush out there. (However I only find a synthetic brush on their website and mine are definitely natural hair so it seems they’ve discontinued the ones I have and I can’t speak for the synthetic version.) Lastly, I have two Sephora Collection dual ended brush number 205s (shadow and crease).

For makeup brush cleaner, I always come back to the MAC one. I use baby shampoo for a deep clean, but for regular cleaning, this quick-drying stuff with a spout is excellent.

Haircare

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I don’t use a lot of hair products, so there’s not much to repurchase. I always choose new shampoos/conditioners because I find that my hair looks dull when I repeat too long. I’ve tried a number of samples of heat protectants, leave in conditioners, de-tanglers, etc. The only one I’ve liked enough to repurchase is the Bumble & Bumble hairdressers invisible oil primer.

I’ve gone through numerous bottles of Batiste dry shampoo. It leaves a white cast initially but absorbs easily and I don’t feel it in my hair after it’s rubbed in. This giant can was under $10 at Marshall’s. It’s a keeper!

Hand Creams

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I have a lot of hand creams 🙂 I use them constantly and love trying new ones. That said, I have tried-and-true favorites that I’ve repurchased and always have on hand (pun not intended). Caudalie and L’Occitane make beautiful hand creams. I love that L’Occitane ones come in a million scents and you can always find minis in GWPs. I have several from their advent calendar last year.

Old school favorites are Soap & Glory hand food (original and sugar crush scents) and Pacifica Tuscan blood orange body butter. They smell delicious!

Shower Products

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I never repurchase shampoos and conditioners because I find that my hair gets dull when I use the same ones repeatedly. I love mixing up shower gels, too, but ones that have repeatedly made their way into my shower are the Lush Rose Jam (seasonal) and L’Occitane almond shower oil. (Wish mine had a pump!) I have a refill bag of the almond oil at the ready. I love that L’Occitane has those for some products.

I love a good body oil for locking in moisture out of the shower. I haven’t had the Trader Joe’s lemongrass coconut body oil all that long. I won it in a giveaway on Instagram a few months ago. But I loved it so much from the first use that I already bought a backup in case it was a limited run, as Trader Joe’s beauty products tend to be. The last I checked it was still available and less than $5. I can’t recommend it enough!

Lastly, I’ve purchased these little Caudalie divine oils multiple times and I gladly would again.

 

What products do you repurchase? Spot any favorites?

(None of these links are affiliate; I purchased all of these products myself – repeatedly!)

How to Get That Summer Glow

I love this time of year when it comes to makeup looks: less is more abounds and everyone is keen on a bronzy, glowy, dewy look. I think that’s a fun and flattering look so I embrace this! Here are some products I reach for when I want that summer time glow 🙂

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A major way to get glowy is with a highlighting makeup primer. I use these year-round for a “lit from within” healthy glow, but tend to really play this up during the summer.

If you want a major highlight, look no further than the Marc Jacobs Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter. (Sent to me by Influenster.) I have the shade Dew You?, which is described as a golden peach. This is, frankly, a little bit dark for my fair/light skin. I find it works best as a primer under foundation than dabbed on top of the foundation. The packaging is luxurious glass with a nice pump. If you have deeper skin, Marc Jacobs recently released another shade that would suit you. If you’re really fair, you should probably skip this one.

The Laura Mercier Radiance Primer really does give a radiant glow. It’s much more subtle than the Marc Jacobs highlighter so it’s appropriate for any day, any situation in my opinion. The tube packaging is easy to use. Laura Mercier is available loads of places (Sephora, Macy’s, Nordstrom, etc.) so you can often find a gift with purchase to include a travel size of this primer (as I have pictured) to test it out. I’ve used a full sized tube in the past so I was glad to get my hands on this mini.

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Becca also does great liquid highlighting products. Their Backlight Priming Filter is great, and they have several shades of their Liquid Highlighter so you can find the shade that suits your skin tone. Since a little goes a long way, I suggest looking for a kit like this one to get a smaller version. I have minis of the shades Opal and Moonstone (pictured) from similar sets. I love that these have wands so I can stripe across the top of my cheekbone and pat in.

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It’s hard to resist the beauty of a pressed powder highlight. I have a few that I love rotating between. The Balm’s Mary-Lou Manizer is a cult classic and probably the highlighter I’ve had the longest. It’s versatile enough to build up or keep relatively subtle, and it would work well as an eyeshadow. The Balm (also available at Kohl’s) often runs great promos and I’ve seen it on Hautelook so you can get a good deal on it. The full sized product will last you forever.

This cute baby Laura Geller baked highlighter is pretty subtle; very wearable for every day. I believe it only comes in this one shade, which would be best for medium skin tones or lighter.

This isn’t the best photo, but here is a shot of the products swatched:

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(Top to Bottom: The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer; Laura Geller baked highlighter; Laura Mercier radiance primer; Becca liquid illuminator in Moonstone; Marc Jacobs Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter in Dew You?.)

Don’t forget about the rest of your body!

The Tatcha luminous dewy skin mist is another “cult classic” product. A few years ago, every Youtuber I followed was raving about it and it put Tatcha on the map, at least for me. It definitely leaves a dewy finish so if you have oily skin, I suggest finding a tester at Sephora to make sure it doesn’t make you look greasy. One nice thing is that you can find the travel size in several sets, like this one.

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There are lots of fun shimmery body oils out these days, but this one from Herbivore is really nice. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a good shot of how it looks on the skin, but it’s noticeable enough to make you glow without looking glittery or weird.

What’s your favorite way to get that summery glow?

 

April Empties

Here are my very belated April empties! I didn’t use up too much last month, but I have a good feeling about May and June 😉

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Skincare

1.  Tatcha luminous dewy sheet mask – I did a separate review of this mask. It didn’t wow me, especially for $12. Then again, I’m not a die-hard fan of the luminous dewy skin mist, and I’m also not that into sheet masks so I may not be the best person to review it. Value =  $12.

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2.  Tatcha water cream sample – I have a full size of this that I won in a giveaway recently. It’s beautiful and I’m enjoying it in the warmer weather.

3.  Since Farmacy deep moisture sheet masks were in my S.O.S. Skincare post, you can imagine that I like them 🙂 Value = $9

4.  Origins mega mushroom treatment lotion sample – A number of my Instagram friends love this lotion so I picked up a sample at Sephora. Calling it a “lotion” is not a great name; it is more of a toner with a watery consistency like an essence. I enjoyed it and would consider getting the full size in the future, maybe after I finish my Fresh rose deep hydration toner.

5.  Tata Harper resurfacing mask – I have had several little samples of this and every time I enjoy it more and more. I recently started using it, per the brand’s suggestion, mixed with the regenerating cleanser as “flash facial.” I picked up a kit from Sephora during the VIB sale that includes the full size, but I don’t see it online. Value = $15.50

6.  Paula’s Choice 10% niacinamide booster – With regular use I could see diminished pores so I would have repurchased but my friend Lara (@myfairskincare) kindly sent me her 10% niacinamide from The Ordinary so I’m using that for now. Value = $42

Bodycare

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7.  Korres whipped body butter in Japanese rose – I love the regular Japanese rose body butter and every other Korres body butter I’ve tried, but this was a miss. I picked it up at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s (where I usually buy Korres products) a while back. I liked it at first. The texture is a little lighter than their standard body butters, but not a “whipped” texture so the name isn’t really accurate. Part way through the tube, the product started separating so there would be oil and lotion separately each time you squeezed. I’m not sure if it was getting old or if that’s a flaw with this formula. I can’t even find it online to link it (except on eBay) so it may be discontinued and mine had just gotten old. Value = $12

8.  Tree Hut shea sugar scrub in Hawiian kukui – This is a great budget scrub. There are lots of scents to choose from, many of which are pretty sweet. I liked this more floral one when I sniffed them at my local Ulta. The sugar granules are larger. You get a good scrub without it being too abrasive. The only downside was I wasted some product because the consistency was sort of jelly-like and inevitably when I scooped some scrub out and went to apply to my body, it would get sorta stuck to my hand and then fall on the bottom of the shower instead of my skin. Maybe it’s just me? I would repurchase but there are plenty of other scrubs I like as well or better. Value = $8

9.  Trader Joe’s shea hand cream – This is obviously trying to be a dupe for the L’occitane shea hand cream, and it’s a pretty good effort at being one. Although it says it has 20% shea butter, it didn’t feel quite as thick as the L’occitane version. It has a similar texture, smell, and packaging. I don’t recall the exact price as I won this one in a different giveaway (thanks @glow_upyourgame!) but I’m sure it’s under $10. Most of Trader Joe’s beauty products don’t stick around for long so if you’re near a store, pick this up soon! Value = $8

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10.  As much as I liked the Trader Joe’s hand cream, there’s just no substitute for the L’Occitane ones to me. I prefer the scented ones, but the original shea is great too. These tiny ones aren’t available for purchase separately (I’ve linked the next largest size) but they’re in GWPs all the time so I always have one in my bag. Value = $2

11.  Pacifica blood orange body butter – I LOVE this scent. I’ve been using it for years. I like a lot of the Pacifica body butters, which have a nice mid-weight feel to them, but the blood orange scent is, by far, my favorite. Value = $5

Haircare & Makeup

12.  Living Proof night cap overnight protector – This feels like a summer product to me because I apply to wet hair, French braid, and let it air dry. My hair is naturally wavy but it needs product to air dry and look decent. If I use this at night and sleep with wet hair (hence why this is a summer product to me), my hair may not be completely dry in the morning but I can take it out of the braid with nice, loose waves. I can even re-braid at the end of the day and get a second day out of the style. Even if I don’t re-braid, the product helps keep the style from looking frizzy. The only downside is that I can only get 2 days out of a style when I’ll get 4-5 days out of a blow dry, but this is great for days when it’s just too darn hot to blow dry. I have an other mini and the full size so I need to experiment more with this. If you’ve tried, how does it work best for you? Value = $7.25

13.  Maybelline lash sensational mascara in black waterproof – I had high hopes for this because I’d heard good things and I generally like Maybelline mascaras, but it disappointed me. I didn’t get a lot of volume, which is a main requirement for me with mascaras. Maybe the waterproof version isn’t as good? Value = $9

Other

14.  Voluspa petite candle in Goji Tarocco Orange – This cute little guy was part of a set that I was given for Christmas. It’s my first Voluspa candle and I would like to try more. I LOVE the scent of this. It didn’t have the widest throw, but it did burn pretty evenly. Value = $9

15.  Velamints blood orange mints – I’m sensing a theme this month haha 😉 I realize this is rather random but I enjoyed them so I thought I’d throw them in. I got mine at Trader Joe’s but I recently spotted them at Staples of all places so I expect they are available elsewhere. The packaging was a little annoying and the mints themselves are pretty hard, but it’s nice to have something other than mint for a change. Value = $3

The total value of my April empties is $141.75.  That is the lowest value thus far this year, but still brings the value of my 2018 empties to $1,277.38!

Lancome Skin Feels Good Foundation Review

Lancome recently released Skin Feels Good* – a hydrating, medium-coverage base product. I can’t decide what to call it. It feels more like a BB cream or CC cream than a foundation. I’ve been testing it out for a few weeks and thought I would share a review.

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I received the shade 01N Nude Vanilla from Influenster and it is a very good shade match for me. (For reference, I’m 1Y04 or 1Y05 in Sephora’s Color IQ.) It applies smoothly and wears well throughout the day. It’s a solid medium coverage. It’s more coverage than a tinted moisturizer, certainly, but less than the It Cosmetics CC cream. I love the It Cosmetics CC cream, but I’m squarely between the shades Fair and Light and I have to mix the two to get the right color. Needless to say, that’s a pain. Now that I’m out of both colors, I’ve told myself I won’t repurchase until they come out with more shades. It’s a very popular product so it seems like they’re overdue to expand the shade range. Okay, tangent over.

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Skin Feels Good has a nice pump so you have good control over the amount of product you want to release. It also contains SPF 23 (Specific, huh?). I wouldn’t count on that as my sole form of sunscreen, but it’s nice to have a little protection at all times.

The packaging claims that the product is hydrating and gives a “healthy glow.” I’m not sure if it’s hydrating, per se, but it certainly isn’t drying and it does give a nice glow. I’ve been really pleased with the effect every time I’ve worn it.

Influenster also sent a Lancome Prismatic Plump Lip Gloss* in the shade 01 Effervescent. As you can see, it looks purple in the tube so I was intimidated to try it, but it’s surprisingly wearable. There is limited holographic effect and it only looks purple if you’re really looking closely; it looks relatively clear.  I would still prefer it as a topper over other lip products since I like more color on my lips. I don’t notice a plumping effect, but there is a slight tingle when you first apply.

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(Top to bottom: Skin Feels Good in shade 01N Nude Vanilla; Lancome Maquicomplet concealer in shade 160 Light Buff; Lancome Prismatic Plumping Lip Gloss in shade 01 Effervescent.)

Skin Feels Good is definitely a win from me! I could take or leave the lip gloss, although I would probably like it better in a different shade.

Have you tried any of these products? If so, I’d love to know what you think!

The Everyday Lip

I love a good lipstick. It can change my mood faster than anything else. But while I appreciate a bold look or a matte lip, what I reach for the most are lip products I’d put in the “every day lip” category. For me that generally means a pink or peach shade that is a little glossy, has some pigment, but can be applied without a mirror.

I’ve rounded up a bunch of lip balms, glosses, and lipsticks in that category in case you’re looking for your new everyday lip product. Many of these can be purchased at Sephora in case you’re planning to shop the sale, which starts today (or resumes if you’re Rouge).

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I’ll discuss from the least amount of color to the most. First up, the balms:

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The Dior lip glows have a cult following and I can understand why. Spending so much on something so sheer is like the epitome of luxury, in my opinion. The balms are supposed to respond to your natural lip color so they may look different on you than they do on me. I have the original, shade 001, which leaves a flushed light pink that is perfect for barely there lip color. I recently picked up the shade Coral, 004, which does not look very coral on me; it’s still fairly pink and sheer. Dior has expanded the range so I’d like to pick up the shade Raspberry 007 next because I think it will provide a bit more color. The texture of the balms is smooth and feels moisturizing.

On the opposite end of the price spectrum is Maybelline baby lips. These take me back to middle school! I have the shade 01 My Pink. It is stiffer in texture than the Dior lip glows, but provides a similar barely-there pink lip at a fraction of the price.

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The YSL tint in balm (middle in the photo above) is probably the next level of color while still being fairly sheer. I have the shade 10 Seduce Me Pink, which Sephora describes as a “luscious berry.” I haven’t tried the others in line to speak to their color payoff, but this is kind of the perfect amount color. Like the Dior lip glows and Baby Lips, this applies like any lip balm but has some more shine and color than those products.

I posted already about the L’oreal Colour Riche Shine lipsticks here. Some of the colors in the range pack a bunch and I wouldn’t categorize as “everyday” lipsticks. The red I have leaves a stain, actually. But the lighter and more nude shades fall into this category of shiny balm-like lipsticks with just the right amount of color. Pictured here is the shade 918 Polished Tango but I swatched the four shades I have in my prior post.

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The YSL volupte liquid color balm in no. 3 Show Me Peach (right in photos above) is a new addition. I thought the name was confusing but now that I have one, I kinda get it. It applies like a gloss, but it’s more pigmented and less slippery than a gloss, if that makes sense. It’s very comfortable to wear. It provides the same coverage as some lipsticks, but it’s easier to apply because of the wand. I want more 😉

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Fresh beauty makes an everyday lip staple – the Sugar lip treatments. There are loads of colors, some of which are fairly bold. I love Petal, Rose, Bloom, and Tulip for everyday, easy pink lips. I’ve also pictured Dream, which looks like a bright pink in the tube but is actually sheerer than the other shades I’ve tried from the range. The formula of these is super soft and creamy. I wouldn’t leave them in your car in the summer!

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Too Faced la creme lip creme in Spice Spice Baby is one of the only lip products I’ve ever repurchased. As you can tell from this post, I have a lot of lip products and I love to try new things. This color and formula impressed me enough that when I used it up, I eventually replaced it. Too Faced must be discontinuing these. One of the only shades left on Ulta’s website is Spice Spice Baby so if you love a pinky brown nude like I do, snap it up! It’s a lipstick formula that’s glossy and creamy and lovely.

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If you forced me to choose my favorite lipstick formula (please don’t!) I would choose the YSL rouge volupte shine lipsticks. They’re shiny (as the name suggests) and smooth and pigmented but still very easy to wear, and they have the signature gorgeous YSL packaging and scent. Pictured left to right are shades 9, 43, 16, and 7. Even the darker shades are so easy to wear that I would feel comfortable applying without a mirror. I’ve repurchased no. 9, as well. It’s like “my lips but shinier” haha. That shade isn’t coming up on Sephora’s website so I sincerely hope it hasn’t been discontinued, but my store had several when I checked last weekend. It kind of looked like it had been renamed (it used to be called Nude in Private lol) so let’s hope it’s just a temporary hiatus because of repackaging.

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I’m not the biggest lip gloss fan, but there are a few formulas I go to: NARS in Chelsea Girls, Bare Minerals Gen Nude in Cosmic and Fancy, and Fenty Beauty’s Universal Gloss Bomb. (It looks like the shades I have in the Bare Minerals gloss may be discontinued because I can’t find them online – Sorry about that!) All of them are that right amount of glossy and not sticky.

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I realize the majority of these are high end products. Luxury lipstick is my greatest makeup weakness! Are there some more affordable options that should be on my radar? What’s your go-to lip product for every day?

Let me know if you pick up any of these during the sale. I would love to hear your thoughts!

March Empties!

It’s that time again – March empties! Sorry I’m a little behind this month 😉 One of the reasons I started this blog was to have space to review my monthly empties, so tuck in!

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I will review by category. And as you know if you follow along on Instagram, this year I’ve also been tracking the value of my monthly empties. This does not mean what I paid for a specific item. Some things are part of a set, gifts with purchase, etc. which would make it very hard to determine what I actually paid. But I like having this idea of value, even if the totals can get embarrassingly high…

First up, skincare and a lone haircare product:

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— Good Things manuka honey cream cleanser – I raved about this recently in a #oneemptyonenewbie post. Someone on Instagram introduced me to this and I found it for about $6 at TJ Maxx. It was undervalued in my stash when we lived in southern California, but I learned the value of a soothing cream cleanser over the last several months. Between pregnancy and a Minnesota winter, my skin was dry and sensitive. This cleanser was so soothing on irritated skin. Thankfully I have two backups thanks to a kind friend 🙂 Did I mention this is $6? If you see it at TJ Maxx/Marshall’s, grab it! It’s available on Amazon but since it isn’t sold by Amazon, I, personally, wouldn’t trust it.

— Leahlani citrus + citrine toner – Both of Leah’s toners are absolutely lovely. They will transport you to a tropical paradise. Actually, all of her products do that 😉 I think I prefer the scent of the Bohemian Ruby toner, which I finished quite a while ago and, if memory serves, smelled more fruity and less floral than this one (although the names would indicate the opposite). I’ve finished a few Leahlani treats recently so I think an order is forthcoming. Value = $46

— Dr. Jart ceramidin cream – I think I tried this sample during the wrong time of year.  I had just finished a rich Zelens moisturizer, which I was mixing with a pump of marula oil, and this didn’t feel like enough. I think I would like it during warmer months, though. Maybe I’ll be able to get another sample and try again since I know a lot of people who love it. Value = $4.80

— Amika nourishing mask* – I used this in place of a regular conditioner and really enjoyed it. My hair felt silky smooth after I got out of the shower. I have several similar products to get through or I would repurchase. Value = $12

— Fresh lotus youth preserve face cream – This has a nice mid-weight and silky texture. It has the same lovely cucumber smell as the soy face cleanser. Value = $17

Next up, body care:

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— Lush Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner – I love this stuff. It smells incredible and feels luxuriously rich on the skin. It isn’t sufficient to protect my skin in the winter, but it helps, and I feel fancy when I use it 😉 I’m using a Hempz in-shower body conditioner at the moment and it is not the same…. Sigh. Value = $6.83

— Kiehl’s creme de corps whipped body butter in grapefruit – They aren’t kidding when they call this stuff whipped butter. It had both the color and texture of butter, which kind of weirded me out. It didn’t smell too much like grapefruit, either. I know the regular creme de corps is a cult Kiehl’s product but I didn’t much care for this. (The grapefruit scent in Disney packaging was a holiday limited edition product but I’ve linked the currently available version.) Value = $39

— L’Occitane shea foot cream – I get minis of these from time to time. They’re nice for dry winter feet, but I don’t personally believe you need a separate foot cream. Value = $2

— Caudalie divine oil – A nice, multi-purpose dry oil. It has a “more mature” scent, shall we say? But I like it. It isn’t the most moisturizing oil ever, but it’s hard to find one that is moisturizing enough alone for MN winter. Value = $7.35

— Caudalie hand and nail cream – One of my all-time fav hand creams. It’s not as thick as the L’Occitane shea butter ones (which I also love) but still moisturizing and not greasy, and it absorbs quickly. It has a refreshing slightly fruity, slightly floral scent. I don’t know what grapes smell like, but if this is it, they smell great! 😉 I wish they sold larger sizes! Value = $15

— Jo Malone blackberry and bay shower oil packet – Blackberry and bay isn’t my favorite Jo Malone scent, but the consistency of the shower oil was very luxurious. It reminded me of the L’Occitane almond shower oil – a shower staple for me. I would consider purchasing in a different scent.

Lastly, makeup:

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— Stila huge extreme lash mascara – One of my favorite mega volumizing mascaras. It’s hard for me to find a volumizing mascara that doesn’t smudge on my oily eye area and this is one of the few that doesn’t. I always jump at a chance to pick up a mini. This one seemed to dry out a little quickly, though. Value = $12

— Vapour Beauty illusionist concealer – The consistency was too firm to be used under the eyes, which is the primary purpose of a concealer for me. You would have to warm up the product first with your finger or else it would pull and tug when I tried to apply it. I only tried that a few times before deciding the delicate skin under my eyes was more important. It worked just fine for blemishes so I kept it in my purse in case I needed to touch up during the day, but I rarely used it. I’ll stick with non “green” concealers in the future. Value = $24

— Farmacy lip bloom in citrus lemongrass – These have been discontinued, but since they’re still available on Farmacy’s website I will warn you against them. This dried out my lips so badly. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything like it. After about two weeks of trying to make it work, I decided to throw in the towel. The citrus lemongrass smelled nice, though. Value = $16

— Skincando Combat Ready lip balm –  I LOVE combat ready balm. The lip balm, not so much. It was a stiffer texture and I didn’t find it very moisturizing. Value = $10

— Fresh sugar lip treatment in Rose (mini) –  I love the Fresh lip balms. They’re very soft and feel so nice on. They have lots of colors, including several everyday ones that provide just enough color. This rose shade falls into that category and seems to be the most common in gifts with purchases, gift sets, etc. I have others. I will repurchase. Value = $12

— Kevin Aucoin the celestial skin liquid illuminator sample packet in Candlelight – This gave off a nice effect as an illuminating makeup primer, but the shade Candlelight was too dark for my fair/light complexion and I believe it’s the lightest shade he makes.

— Fiona Stiles eyebrow pencil – I got this super cheap when Ulta stopped carrying Fiona Stiles’ line and I don’t believe you can buy her makeup anymore. It was pretty Meh anyway. Value = $16

— Marc Jacobs hi-shine lip lacquer (mini) in Allow Me – I’m not a big lip gloss girl, but I enjoyed this formula. It wasn’t sticky or tacky. I didn’t think it was “high shine,” despite the name. This shade had some shimmer in it, but it didn’t translate to the lips. I would explore other shades since there are lots in the range. Value = $10

— Jouer liquid highlighter – I honestly can’t really review this. It’s very old and I pulled it out recently to see if it still worked and it didn’t; it has dried up. I don’t love the click stick type packaging so I wouldn’t repurchase for that reason alone. Value = $24

 

Total value of March empties = $278.98!

Well, there we are! Thanks for getting all the way to the bottom 🙂 Have you used any of these products? If so, I’d love to know your thoughts!

*Gifted by Influenster